NYC: Mercedes E-Class Debut

The new 2018 E-Class Cabriolet. Image courtesy of Mercedes Benz USA


When I was in high school, my best friend bought a convertible.  I can still remember our first drive with the top down in that car.  We got more honks, whistles, and hellos than you could even imagine.  We loved it.  We couldn’t stop laughing the entire time.  That first ride gave way to many up and down the PCH.  

There’s nothing quite like a convertible, especially when you live in a place like So Cal that gets 300+ convertible perfect days a year.  Just in time for the warmer weather Mercedes has unveiled its new 2018 E-Class Cabriolet and it is a beaut.  Offering a premium soft top, larger and more luxurious interior, and comfortable open air driving utilizing their AIRSCARF® technology, this new cabriolet is on point to become summer’s favorite new ride.  

The Cabriolet is the last new member to join the updated Mercedes E-Class family, which has seen a complete overhaul of the entire class over the last year.  This new model has a longer length, width and wheel base, along with a wider track, providing a more spacious interior.  All four occupants of the vehicle will now enjoy individually sculpted seats with the added touch of standard-fit automatic belt presenters in the front seat.  The acoustic soft top is equipped with insulation to protect against the elements, hot or cold.  Heat reflecting leather and individually folding rear seats are some of the options buyers will enjoy on this iteration.  4MATIC all-wheel drive rounds out some of the features available.

Look for this new E-Class Cabriolet in US dealerships later this year.

2015 LA Auto Show Highlights

It’s that time again.  All things new and exciting in the automotive world have descended on the LA Convention Center for 10 glorious days.  Since today is the first day doors will open to the public, I thought it fitting to share some of this year’s not-to-be-missed highlights.  Also, be sure to check the blog in the coming days, as I cover these vehicle debuts in more depth.

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Volvo Concept 26

#1: Volvo’s Concept 26
As someone who has spent way too many hours of my life in traffic, this was by far the most mind-blowing thing I saw at the auto show.  While I am a driving enthusiast, I have to say, the thought of being able to literally kick back and catch up on my Netflix while being squired around the stand-still streets of Los Angeles by my autonomous car had me practically turning cartwheels in front of the exhibit.

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Mercedes SL Roadster

#2: Mercedes SL Roadster
Mercedes is hoping the latest generation of the SL series will bring the luxury roadster segment back to life.  With its sleek lines and powerful performance specs, there is no doubt it will be a desirable option for those in the market for a two-seat roadster.  While launching this beauty in the fun-loving California market is a stroke of genius, it remains to be seen whether the $100,000 roadsters can make a comeback in light of our new economic realities.  If they do, the 2017 SL550 will most certainly be leading the charge.

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Audi E-Tron Quattro Concept

#3: Audi E-Tron Quattro Concept
After months of teasing, Audi finally revealed its beautiful, all-electric, luxury class sport SUV.  During the big reveal, Audi not only issued a mea culpa for the TDI debacle, but vowed to take the brand to the forefront of the electric mobility platform.  Boasting three electric motors and a 0-60 time of 4.6 seconds, if the E-Tron Quattro Concept delivers what is promises when it hits the market in 2018, it’s will not be hard to take Audi at their word.  This concept is definitely worth stopping by the Audi booth to see in person.

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Jaguar F-Pace

#4: Jaguar F-Pace
Five years ago I met with a Jaguar representative at the LA Auto Show and asked if they had any plans to make a Jaguar SUV.  He laughed and pointed to the multiple Land Rovers and Range Rovers on display and said, “There are our SUVs…right there”.  Well turns out he was wrong, because on press day, Jaguar revealed their brand new luxury sports utility vehicle, the F-Pace.  Taking inspiration from it’s sports car brother, the F-Type, the F-Pace is the total looks and performance package for the soccer mom wanting to make a statement.

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Mazda CX-9

#5: Mazda CX-9
Mazda has finally finished its complete fleet overhaul with the unveiling of the all-new CX-9.  The last in its fleet to get a facelift, the new body style is all class.  It’s a bigger, roomier and higher performing version of the CX-5.  Packed with style and fun, this one is sure to be a hit with the family circuit.  While not as sexy as the F-Pace parked a few stalls away, it provides quite enough style for the practical price tag that comes with it.

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If you have some extra time, be sure to stop by the Toyota booth to check out the Back to the Future display featuring Marty McFly’s 1985 Toyota Tacoma, as well as a DeLorean-inspired Toyota Mirai, complete with gull wing doors and a Mr. Fusion.

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I also recommend trying your hand at the Dodge Viper Challenge.  Climb inside an actual Dodge Viper and race around a simulated track at top speeds.  Ask for the manual mode and you’ll feel like you’re actually flying around the racetrack.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Say Hello to the New BMW M2

M2 sketch drawing Photo courtesy of BMW GROUP ©BMW GROUP

M2 sketch drawing
Photo courtesy of BMW GROUP ©BMW GROUP

The highly anticipated, all-new BMW M2 has finally made it’s debut and it’s looking to be an impressive one.  This compact high-performance model joins the rest of BMW’s elite line-up of M Sport vehicles boasting a high-performance six cylinder in-line engine, an agile rear-wheel-drive, lightweight aluminum suspension, and of course, impeccable styling.

M2 Photo Courtesy of BMW GROUP ©BMW GROUP

M2
Photo Courtesy of BMW GROUP ©BMW GROUP

The M2 clearly takes inspiration from its predecessors, the original E30 BMW M3 and the classic BMW 2002 turbo.  With a single glance, enthusiasts will recognize the signature M finishes, such as the low front apron with large air intakes, the large, muscular flanks sporting classic M gills, the 19 inch aluminum wheels with standard M double-spoke design and an M specific twin-tailpipe exhaust system.

M2 Photo Courtesy of BMW GROUP ©BMW GROUP

M2
Photo Courtesy of BMW GROUP ©BMW GROUP

M2 Twin Tailpipe Photo Courtesy of BMW GROUP ©BMW GROUP

M2 Twin Tailpipe
Photo Courtesy of BMW GROUP ©BMW GROUP

Also shouting classic M Sport is the interior design of the car.  We find the Alcantara of the door cards meeting the carbon fibre of the center console, along with the blue contrast stitching and M embossed details.  Throw in the sports seats, M sports steering wheel and the M gearshift lever and you’ve got a sexy, sporty interior providing the perfect ambience for the M driving experience.

M2 Interior Photo Courtesy of BMW GROUP ©BMW GROUP

M2 Interior
Photo Courtesy of BMW GROUP ©BMW GROUP

M Embossed Gear Shift Photo Courtesy BMW GROUP ©BMW GROUP

M Embossed Gear Shift
Photo Courtesy BMW GROUP ©BMW GROUP

Where this car shines, like most BMWs, is under the hood.  There you will find an engine that is truly the benchmark for the high-performance compact sports car segment.  The newly designed three-liter six-cylinder engine utilizes cutting edge M TwinPower Turbo technology to deliver 370hp and 343 lb-ft of torque, all while being extremely fuel efficient.  The engine gets 33.2 mpg with an incredibly low CO2 emission, 199 g/km.  The M2 will do 0-60 in 4.3 seconds and has a current governed top speed of 155 mph.  Both a six-speed manual and optional seven-speed automatic M Double Clutch Transmission are available. The M DCT technology delivers gear changes at extraordinary speed with no interruption to the flow of power.

M2 Engine Photo Courtesy of BMW GROUP ©BMW GROUP

M2 Engine
Photo Courtesy of BMW GROUP ©BMW GROUP

The car also comes equipped with plenty of standard equipment to keep pace with its performance-focused engineering.  A large selection of driver assistance systems and mobility series is available from BMW ConnectedDrive.  ConnectedDrive Services enables the use of innovative apps, integrating them into the car seamlessly.  The GoPro app, for example, allows the driver to record laps done at the track with an action camera mounted to the dash using the iDrive Controller and Control Display.  The M Laptimer app will analyze the driver’s individual style behind the wheel while running track laps and allows for easy sharing of the information captured via email or Facebook.

M2 Photo Courtesy of BMW GROUP ©BMW GROUP

M2
Photo Courtesy of BMW GROUP ©BMW GROUP

Judging from the press release, the new M2 has everything you could want and more from the compact high-performance sports car segment: a stylish interior and exterior, plenty of gadgets to keep the tech savvy happy, and a beasty, yet efficient, engine under the hood.  I’m counting the days until I can check out this beauty in person at the LA Auto Show.

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M2 Information Courtesy of BMW GROUP